Mashmoona Zehra Majeed

Mashmooma comes across as a woman who never thought her place in the world was in question. Her success, ambitions, and diverse interests are a testament to what anyone, let alone a woman, can achieve if one puts their mind to it.

A Chartered Financial Analyst by qualification, head of the Mutual Funds Association by profession, and a photographer by passion, Mashmooma characterizes the successes of the modern woman. “Initially when I started there were a lot of male egos to deal with. Apart from the fact that I was a very young CFA, I was also a woman in a predominant male industry. I think I hurt a lot of egos by being a young female CFA,” she says with a smile. “There were a total of about fifty CFAs at that time and most of them had taken ages to pass all the exams.”

But she was able to make herself stand out very quickly. “If you know what you are doing, then people take you seriously,” she says. She was lucky to have good bosses who never let her gender come in the way of decisions, but she does feel that there is a major lack of mentorship in Pakistan. “In our country you have to take the initiative yourself. The culture of mentoring and grooming young talent is seriously missing,” according to Mashmooma. She believes that the trend of career planning and guidance needs to start at the school level.

Mashmooma has experienced several miracle moments in her life. Two that stand out are completing the CFA assessments at a very young age and completing the nanga parbat basecamp excursion despite having no trekking experience. She believes that experiences like these have transformed her into a person with much better temperament. From being a young hot headed girl she is now a mature, level mannered, and balanced individual.

According to Mashmooma a good work life balance is essential to maintain one’s energy levels. “I disconnect from work in the evenings and on weekends. Those times are about family, friends and hobbies,” says Mashmooma. She also stresses how she practices yoga, eats a lot of fruit, and drinks ample amounts of water to ensure that signs of ageing are kept at bay.

 She ends by saying that the rapid entry of women in the workforce across all fields delights her. Her message to young women is that “the work environment has transformed for the better over the last few years. But it is important that girls don’t come into the work force with an attitude to pass time. Stay consistent, be realistic, and have a razor sharp focus on your delivery and you will find that there are no special preferences kept aside for men.” Mashmooma brings a sense of practicality and realism to the achievement of dreams and ambitions, and she certainly stands as a beacon of light for young women out there who want to pursue their dreams.